Most of our garden areas are child friendly. We have a few vegetables planted in our front yard and Otto (3yrs) has his own little patch for digging and a pot for strawberries. Recently Otto planted a small herb garden and I could see how much he enjoyed tending to it. Over the last couple of weeks, we decided to provide another gardening area for Otto that was child-centered and entirely his own. Previously his gardening tools were piled up in our garage and this space allows us to have all of his garden tools together and organised. The thing... Read more →

This term Otis (in yr 4) is an Eco-Warrior representative for his class. This means he gets to take out the compost and do other environmentally responsible tasks. He started a discussion about what we could do to reduce our waste at home. Otis and I thought about starting a worm farm. We previously used the Bokashi composting method but it was no longer suitable for our growing family. We decided to try a worm farm. Otis helped to set it up and does most of the maintenance. A great flow-on effect is the whole family has been involved in... Read more →

I love gardening with my children. I aim to make it a relaxing experience where we can connect with each other and connect with nature. With a little bit of preparation gardening with children can fun and also extremely rewarding. Gardening is also a great way to develop practical life skills in a real, meaningful way. My Montessori gardening tips include: Use child-sized tools - a small spade is much easier for the child to hold and manipulate than a heavy and bulk adult's tool. Children can use smaller child-size tools with greater accuracy and less frustration. Use real tools... Read more →

The weather here has been gorgeous. We've had plenty of rain but also lots of wonderful sunshine! ☀️Otto and I have been spending most mornings in our garden or on our back deck doing a little planting. Yesterday we were out there for four hours. Here are four garden and planting trays that we have been using and loving! Seed Planting Tray. Above is one of my all time favourite gardening trays, a simple seed planting activity. We are using terracotta pots (there are three on the tray, but as they are stacked you can't see them all). I cannot... Read more →

Do you have a pipette or dropper in your cupboard or drawer? Let's put it to use! Using a pipette or dropper can help the child's developing fine motor skills including building hand strength and coordination. I've given my toddler (2yrs) a choice of pipettes and basters and he mostly chooses the Twisty Droppers and the clear pipettes. When he was younger he would often use the Jumbo Droppers. Our Twisty Droppers are c/o Modern Teaching Aids. Australian Sources: 1. Clear Pipettes, 2. Jumbo Droppers, 3. Plastic Baster, 4. Giant Blue Pipette, 5. Twisty Droppers, 6. White Melamine Trays, 7.... Read more →

Every child deserves to learn about real food and where it comes from. Visiting a farm and growing your own food is important and books can be used to support this hands-on-learning. We love books in our home and especially books about food and gardens. Here are some of our favourite books about farm to table and farmers markets. Before We Eat, Meet Me at the Farmers Market and Happy Veggies are stand outs. No matter the age of your children, no matter if you shop at the grocery store or at the farmers market, I hope you enjoy our... Read more →

Do your children like to water indoor plants? A Plant Care Basket is a great way of developing the child's interest in plant care and it can also help develop a whole range of skills including coordination and fine motor skills. What is in our Toddler Plant Care Basket? small watering can - we use larger watering cans outside, the smaller size here prevents spills and overwatering. small scissors - for trimming plants, removing dead leaves and for harvesting herbs or flowers. Ours are little toddler scissors and good for small hands, they also have blunt tip for safety. small... Read more →

I love indoor gardening, I cannot get enough of it. But I know not all parents share my enthusiasm. Growing plants indoors can provide wonderful learning opportunties for children. Children can get close to nature no matter the weather, they can observe up close the wonders of plant life. Growing herbs gives the child the opportunity to grow their own food and learn about about real food, real flavours. It also allows the child to reap and harvest frequently. "The most pleasant work for children is not sowing but reaping, a work, we all know, that is no less exacting... Read more →

"There is something intrinsically inviting and soothing about the form of kokedama, through the juxtaposition of its controlled and wild aspects. It is a manifestation of wabi-sabi, or the Japanse art of finding beauty in imperfection." - Hanging Kokedama. Kokedama = moss ball. It is a Japanese form of bonsai. The plant is potted in a ball of bonsai soil and peat moss, then wrapped in moss. The moss is tied to keep the plant and soil together. I love indoor gardening and feel it's important to share our passions and our knowledge with our children. I find the concept... Read more →

Montessori Home and School - Garden Ideas

I know for a lot of people the weather is getting cooler and it might not be gardening weather, but in Australia, it is currently spring! So I'm thinking about pretty gardens and how to bring more greenery into our home. Here are a few Montessori school and home ideas that are simply beautiful. "Nestled between the two renovated homes that house classrooms, the Montessori at Mulberry has created a gorgeous garden space its preschool kids want to work, eat and learn in constantly. Details like tiny colorful watering cans, chalk art, a rain barrel, colorful vines and accessible raised... Read more →

Hapa Zome = leaf dye. Have you tried it? It's an excellent hands-on activity to do with young children! Ours turned out so beautiful I just had to share! All you need is some flowers or leaves, fabric, we used calico and a hammer. We work outside whenever possible and this is a great activity to do outside, in-between those April showers. We put a waterproof tarpaulin on the grass and work on some nice large wood pieces. We arrange our flowers in between two pieces of fabric or fold the fabric over, however, you can place the flowers on... Read more →

I always want to follow my children, to meet their individual needs and wants. At home I've been trying to guide my ten-year-old (Caspar) to try a few new things, not to push but to get him thinking more broadly, thinking outside of the box. Perhaps it's because he has two younger siblings that take up so much of my time but I've been making an effort to spend more time doing things with him, making sure that he is included in some of my daily life and household activities. Here are a few things that we've been doing together... Read more →

I've been to school fundraising committee meetings where there have been lots of blank looks, where no one has been able to think of new fundraising ideas. It can be tough to think of fundraising ideas that are in line with the Montessori philosophy. I have been in Montessori schools where the fundraising ideas have been questionable, toy catalogues which contain very few (if any) toys that would be suited to a Montessori home, and I'm sure we've all been sold chocolates. Today I thought I would share some of the ideas I know about, those which may be more... Read more →

1. Leaf Polishing at Healthy Beginnings Montessori, 2. Care of a Plant at At Home With Montessori, 3. Cleaning Leaves at Montessori en Casa, 4. Practical Life at Two at How we Montessori, 5. Watering a Plant at Awake Parent, 6. Watering Plants Activity at Montessori Services, 7. Taking care of classroom plants at To the Lesson, 8. Care of Plant Work at Mission Montessori and 9. Care of Plant Work (love this basket and set of materials) via Filev Yuriy (3-6 Montessori). Looking after indoor plants is a great way to introduce care of the environment activities to small... Read more →

I don't often get my camera out on a Sunday. Sundays are usually a day of recharge. Rest combined with a little cleaning and baking. The most important aspect of Sundays is that we have no planned activities, we operate totally at our children's pace. Today we introduced mosaic tiles to our clay. All of our pots have holes as we plan to use them for plants. The boys loved adding the tiles and it's so sparkly and pretty. Caspar rolled some paper seedling pots. Using newspaper these are a fantastic idea. We have this paper pot maker from Biome.... Read more →